Memory Care costs explained
When your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, and family caregiving just isn’t possible anymore, you’re faced with the daunting task of approaching Memory Care costs. The economic reality is that most families will have to consider cost in their search. Memory Care isn’t covered by Medicare — the health coverage all Americans get at age 65. And Medicaid doesn’t help except in the direst of financial circumstances. When Medicaid is used to pay for Memory Care, almost all of your loved one’s income is put towards care costs before the state contributes, and your loved one must have depleted most assets paying for care already. What’s more, Medicaid severely limits your options, as most Memory Care providers are unable to accept to accept Medicaid or have limited space for Medicaid residents.
How much does Memory Care really cost?
Like any kind of housing, Memory Care costs at an assisted living community can vary widely by location. In areas with very low housing costs, the average cost of Memory Care may be as low as $3,500 per month. In high cost areas, it can be $6,000 to $7,000 per month.
But even in a given area, costs can vary widely based on many factors. For instance, a semi-private (shared) Memory Care apartment in a senior community without a lot of frills may be less than half the cost of a private Memory Care apartment in a high-end assisted living community.
Memory Care isn’t arbitrarily expensive. Senior care is a competitive market. Costs, while significant, are about as low as economically possible. In any Memory Care community, be it basic or luxury, you’re paying for your family’s peace of mind, and literally everything your loved one needs to live a safe, dignified life.
What are you paying for?
Memory Care goes beyond the scope of standard assisted living. At a Memory Care community, what you’re paying for includes:
- Round-the-clock staffing: People with Alzheimer’s or dementia may need attention at any time of day, especially due to the “sundowning” associated with Alzheimer’s. Memory Care communities are staff to make sure they can care for any sudden needs, even wee hours of the night.
- Security: Memory Care communities are secured to protect your vulnerable loved ones from any outside threats to themselves or their property. They also make are secured to keep your loved ones from wandering dangerously off the property.
- Special training: Memory Care requires specialized knowledge and techniques on the part of the caregivers. Staff at Memory Care will be appropriately trained to meet the unique needs of Memory Care residents.
- Nutrition and nourishment: Naturally, all your loved one’s meals are provided. But at Memory Care, it’s more than just serving food. Special care is taken to make sure food delivers appropriate nourishment. Memory Care kitchens also make sure to serve food that’s practical, such as finger-foods for residents who have difficulty with utensils.
- Enrichment: Even when living with severe Alzheimer’s or dementia, there’s much more to life than meeting the base necessities. Memory Care communities provide various forms of enrichment in the form of entertainment and activities. This enrichment must be specially tailored to the ability-level of the residents.
- High-needs care: Memory Care communities are prepared to care for patients with very high needs. Residents at Memory Care may need assistance eating, dressing, bathing, and toileting. Generally, residents with higher care needs will pay a higher price.
Memory Care consumers are paying for a full-stack set of services that “wrap around” the needs of their loved ones. While the cost of Memory Care can seem daunting, the safety and dignity it affords loved ones in their autumn years is a price well paid. Click here to find a Memory Care community near you.